The recent homeless camp bulldozer argued that Topeka should adopt more liberal policies modeled on those of Kansas City, Missouri.
Social worker Russell Burton and other advocates hope to raise the issue at the Topeka City Council meeting on June 7, the Kansas City Star reports.
Burton wants the city to force outreach workers to turn in before a camp is bulldozed and to stay until city workers leave, which Kansas City requires under an adopted policy in mid-April. He also wants to require the city to store people’s personal items for 60 days, as Kansas City does, twice the time set by Topeka policies.
Topeka razed an encampment just north of the Kansas River on May 10 where more than a dozen people lived.
Ken Saffer, a 57-year-old resident of the encampment since 2017, said his belongings were confiscated, including clothes, tools and a generator. Others rushed to retrieve medicines and important documents.
Spokeswoman Gretchen Spiker said the city provided more than the required 72-hour notice before clearing the camp and followed its policies regarding belongings. She said the city “has gone above and beyond” to protect the constitutional rights of individuals.